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The Global Society Essay, Research Paper

A discussion of

the Issues of globalisation and fragmentation in

today?s world. With the growing trend towards the creation of a

global community it is becoming more and more necessary for us to find a

balance between creating a truly integrated global society, and remembering the

needs of the local community. It is necessary for us to find this balance or to

suffer the negative affects of the fragmentation reaction. With the current

availability of weapons of mass destruction the idea of a unified global

society is almost necessary to keep us from destroying ourselves. It is

possible for us to achieve a unified global society; we just need to balance

the needs of the local with the global, maintaining a local environment that

fosters community and unity. ?Today, that new world is struggling to be

born, a world quite different from the one we have known, a world where the

rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle, a world in which nations

recognise the shared responsibility for freedom and justice, a world where the

strong respect the rights of the weak. –

President George Bush,

September 17,1990 [1] They say that all you need to look at in order to

see the current trends and drives of a society are is look at their

advertising. Catch slogans like, ?Help your small business take its place in

the global economy, use brand X?, and ?Use product Y to help you network with

people across the world.? are all indicators that our planet is heading towards

a globalisation of societies. Until recent years even though we were all part

of the collective of planet earth, we were essentially locally driven. If

something happened on the other side of the world, it really didn?t make all

that much of a difference in our own little piece of the planet. Now however

there are major forces working towards pulling us into a global society. The Media, and global networks like CNN allow

us to see what is going on in other parts of the world as they are unfolding.

Now we can watch the wars as they happen, and we can see the pain on the face

of a war victim full close up and in colour. The global media allows us to

identify with others more. If you walk down the street in Stockholm you will

find that people look much the same as those in Montreal with their style of

dress and fashion. Instantaneous communication is now available with anyone

around the planet who has a computer and an Internet hook-up. It is possible

for me to carry on a chat conversation with my brother in Australia and my

parents in Ontario all at the same time. One of the articles that I was reading

remarked, ?What is the power of the Pentagon

compared with Disneyland?s? Can the sixth fleet keep up with CNN? McDonalds in

Moscow and Coke in China will do more to create a global culture, then military

colonisation ever could. It is less the goods than the brand names that do the

work,?[2] Pure economics also pushes for, and is indeed even

moving toward a unified global market at least. The merger of national

companies into multinationals or even supernationals is pulling us more and

more towards a unified global society. With the interconnectedness of today?s

market it is almost guaranteed that if the Tokyo stock exchange has a bad day,

then the effects of that will be felt in the business sectors of metropolitan

Vancouver.? While it may be said that

this is only economics and doesn?t really mean that our societies are getting

any closer together, can this honestly be said? The majority of societies are

becoming more and more market driven, the most important thing about a country

these days seems to be whether or not it has a strong economy. International

business thrives on markets where there are no barriers, and one of the ways to

have these barriers removed is to make the societies themselves feel that there

is no need for the barriers to exist. Clothing companies are an example of the

close ties between culture and economics. Clothing styles pass for example

fairly freely between Canada, the US, Britain, and France, due to the fact that

many of our styles come from the same designers. Economics dictates that the

companies that want to distribute those clothing items want to be able to with

the fewest market restrictions possible, they achieve this through either

deregulation, or mergers with companies that are in the countries that they

want to distribute too. Now while it is just a matter of economics that these

companies want to merge and pull closer together in order to sell their goods.? The end result is that the populations of

all these countries end up wearing the same style of clothing, and that pulls

their cultures that one step closer to each other. So while it is easy to say

that the world is only really moving towards a global society economically,

with the interrelation of culture and economy nowadays, it isn?t fair to say

that economic globalisation has no effect on cultural globalisation. While usually a vehicle for nationalism some

governments are also playing a role in the assimilation of countries into a

global society. Currently the countries of Europe are pulling together to form

the European Union. The

European Union will be made up of fifteen member countries, with plans to widen

the union in future years. Hungary, Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and

Slovenia have already presented applications. Some feel that the formation of

this union is mainly for economic purposes, however the effects of the

formation of this new government of Europe are much greater and far reaching

then that. Some of the more notable highlights are the following; 1. The

creation the Euro, this currency is to be used in all of the member states of

the European union, eliminating the need for currency exchanges and most

notably harmonising the value of a number of different countries currency. 2. The

European Court of Justice, the European court of justice would have

jurisdiction over the national courts of the member states in many different

areas of law, including but not limited to; the fundamental rights of all

people, discrimination, and the abolishment of the death penalty in all member

states. 3. The

European Parliament, currently the Parliament shares decision making power with

the European Council, in a limited number of areas such as research, health and

culture. This is significant due to the fact that since its creation the

European Parliament has received greater and greater powers. The Parliament is

seemingly moving towards the day when there will be a general government over

Europe in the form of the European Parliament that has jurisdiction over most

matters of state and security. 4. The

Freedom of movement of citizens of the various countries, between member states

of the European Union. Members of the different member states will be able to

travel from Member State to Member State without having to go through border

checks. The only states that are currently not subscribing to these procedures

are The United Kingdom and Ireland. 5. On

a cultural level, the European Union will have it?s own flag, it?s own anthem

and Europe day will be celebrated on the ninth of May, every year. One of the significant things to note about the

whole procedure and creation of the European Union is the very terminology.

Countries in the union are no longer referred to as individual countries in

most discussions but rather as member states, setting up the frame work for a

Federal system over all the member states in concept at the very least. Another

thing to note is the fact that such a great number of countries have subscribed

to the vision of a unified Europe. Integration has been met with only moderate

resistance in some regions, and for the most part is proceeding rather smoothly

on most all accounts.? What we are also seeing is the emergence of regional

trading Blocs, the European Union included, but also the North American Free

Trade Agreement, which turned the United States, Canada, and Mexico into a

regional economic union, the ?Yen bloc? which centers around Japan is also a

regional economic power. While the latter two groups have not moved as far as

the European Union, it is still a start in this society ruled by economics. There are forces and issues that are causes of

fragmentation, which do however need to be dealt with and resolved before any

true global integration can occur. The two major issues that I have identified

are as follows, Hypernationalism, and ?Rights talk?. The reason that these

issues need to be dealt with is the effect that they have on globalisation. Not

to mention the fact that they are also relevant concerns of the countries that

are being assimilated into the global community. Hypernationalism is most clearly applied to the

states or nations that have protectionism, isolationism, and a firm belief in

the supremacy of their own nation, or race. Some countries that could be called

hypernatinalist have some and not all of the above qualifiers. One of the major

reasons that Hypernationalism has a negative effect on globalisation is due to

the fact that it is not a viewpoint that allows for the inclusion of other

societies. The dictionary defines hypernationalism as; the love of a country

and willingness to sacrifice for it. The conviction that the culture and

interests of your nation are superior to those of any other nation. While it is

possible to argue that the United States and Canada are of this persuasion, it

is not to the same level as countries like Palestine and Iran. Both of these

countries have populations and cultures that are incredibly hypernationalistic,

the difference between them is the fact that they have widely different goals,

or rather goals that are not compatible with each other. Iran, or rather many

militant Iranians see the need to eliminate any vestiges of the west from their

sphere of influence, or even from their region of the world in general. To the

extent of threatening the United States in their own country and to the goal of

obliterating the western sponsored state of Israel from their region. Their

subscription to this operating policy was made evident by their attack on

Israel when it was first created and left to operate to an extent on it?s own.

The policy of Israel and most Israelites is the maintenance and continued

existence of the Jewish State at any cost.?

The respective beliefs and operating policies of these countries are

mutually exclusive and are for the most part contrary to any progress towards

any unified or even co-operative global society. While it can also be argued

that the belief that it is necessary for a progression towards a unified global

so society is nothing more then an imperialistic idea of the western world and

a desire for the west to impose it?s views and culture on other less

influential countries.? It is for the

most part fair to say that the development of a unified world is more about

global stability then it is about nationalism imposed on a larger scale. In

order for the almost continual war in the Middle East to end, it is necessary

for the nation states of the region, and for some of the western powers to

realise that the only way for any lasting progress is through co-operation and

discussion. As opposed to violence and continuing bloodshed. Another contributor to the fragmentation effect is

the dawning age of ?Rights talk?. One of the major shifts of the last few years

has been societies movement away from the idea of, ?What can I do for my

country? to ?What can my country do for me?? Perhaps this is nothing more then

a reaction to the forces of globalisation, but it is a significant phenomenon

in today?s world. People are beginning to focus on self, more then they are

focusing on the world around them. People want to know what they can get for

numero uno, what can be done for them. The reason for this shift can be

attributed to anything from the feeling that we need to make sure that our

identities don?t get lost in the dawning of the new corporate age, to the

increasing influence of American media on the rest of the world. The feeling is

that you constantly have to be on the look out for ?your rights? lest they be

trampled on. You also have to make sure that whenever someone infringes on your

rights that you do something about it. You can never let your rights be

violated. Now in my discussion of this I am not trying to say that human rights

are not an important and positive concern for society, what I am concerned

about is the fact that we have moved past the realm of human rights, and into

the realm of MY RIGHTS. People even in Canada have forgotten that the rights of

a Canadian come after the fulfilment of ones responsibilities in the Canadian

constitution, and the courts for the most part have allowed this forgetfulness

to take place. What we as Canadians and for the most part global citizens as a

whole need to remember is that the Universal Declaration of Human rights reads

as follows; ?Everyone

has duties to the community?? and that

everyone?s rights and freedoms are subject to limitations ?for the purposes of

securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and

meeting the just requirements of morality, public order, and the general

welfare in a democratic society.?[3] ??????????? So where do we go from here? It is possible for us to

reach the point of being a global society. The important thing that we need to

remember to do however is to remember to respect the rights and identity of the

local. The phrase ?think globally, act locally? should be the new call to arms

of the citizen of the next millennia, it also holds new meaning for the future

of our country and other countries. It is the idea behind the integration of

societies into a working global whole. The successful government of the future

will be the one that is willing and able to make itself a progressive,

integrating and aggressive force in the global society. Progressive in that it

is willing to move and form new alliances and strengthen partnerships.

Integrating in it?s openness to other cultures and the movement to a unified

and co-operative society, and aggressive in that it remembers to protect the

local society. It makes sense to protect the local neighbourhood, and it is not

misguided or wrong to think that governments are the best vehicles to do that.

The movement towards a global society that is co-operative is necessary in that

it will keep us from destroying ourselves. It is possible to become a working

global society, we all just have to be part of the process.? Bibliography

Bateman, Mertin, Thomas, Braving

the New World, Toronto, International Thomson Printing. 1995. Gowland, D. A. (ed), The

European Mosaic, New York, Longman Publishing. 1995 Whittington, Williams, Canadian

Politics in the 1990s, Toronto, Nelson Canada. 1995. ?Europa the European Union?s

server.? Europa ???http://europa.eu.int/index-en.htm ?Webhelp.com? Webhelp, http://www.webhelp.com/intro1.html ?Globalisation: What

Challenges and Opportunities for Governments?? OECD, 1996. http://www.oecd.org/puma/gvrnance/strat/pubs/glo96/toc.htm [1] (Canadian Politics in the 1990s p40) [2](Ch 2, Braving the New

World) [3] (Chapter 12, Braving the New World)


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